Making just his second start as a Bluejay, junior Ben Dotzler more than delivered with seven-innings of one run ball to lift the Creighton Baseball team to a 6-1 win over Cincinnati in an NCAA Elimination game on Sunday, June 2 at the Corvallis Regional.
With the win the Bluejays moved to 40-12 on the season and will face Michigan at 6:00 pm. If the Bluejays post another victory the two squads would face off once more for the right to move onto the Super Regional on Monday.
Dotzler set the tone for his afternoon early, needing just 15 pitches (14 strikes) to get through the first two innings. Cincinnati southpaw Evan Shawver matched Dotzler through the first two frames, retiring six of seven Bluejays.
Cincinnati took advantage of a Bluejay error and a wild pitch in the third to take a 1-0 lead. After Cole Murphy singled to center to lead off the inning, a one-out infield single by Jeremy Johnson moved Murphy to second, but an errant throw allowed both Bearcat runners to move into scoring position. Two pitches later a wild one allowed Murphy to score and sent Johnson to third. Dotzler regained his composure to limit the damage with a short fly out to right and a grounder to third to keep it 1-0.
Creighton answered in the fourth, ignited by a leadoff double from junior Parker Upton to right center. The Bluejays' first hard contact rattled Shawver as junior Jake Holton drew a four-pitch walk, then junior Will Robertson got ahead in the count 2-0. After a pair of foul balls, Robertson smashed a three-run home run, his 14th of the season, into the bleachers stanchions in right.
The Bluejays tacked on two more in the sixth on three hits and an error. Robertson got things going this time with a single to right-cener, then senior Jack Strunc laced a single through the left side to put Bluejays on first and second. Senior Jordan Hovey followed with an RBI double just inside the first base bag. An error on the throw in allowed Strunc to come home as well, making it 5-1.
Creighton pushed across an insurance run in the eighth on a Hovey single, a stolen base, a sac bunt and an RBI single from sophomore Will Hanafan.
Dotzler cruised through seven-innings to earn the win (1-0), allowing just one unearned run on seven hits and one walk. His seven-inning day was a career-high as was his six strikeouts in the game. Shawver suffered the loss (3-8), allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and one walk in 5.1 innings.
The middle of the Bluejay order (Robertson, Strunc and Hovey) provided the thump with a combined seven hits (7-for-11) with four RBI and four runs scored